When the Once-Was-Lost Guides the Lost 

Ever wonder what your calling is? One evening I discovered mine, when I helped a beautiful stranger find her way to her destination–despite my trust issues.

What am I called to do and how do I discover it?

At 22 years old, taking my baby steps in the advertising world and continuously learning what it means to be disciple of Jesus Christ in the 21st century, this question is the most pressing on my list.  I’ve fallen to the erroneous thinking that God’s will was “way up there;” that it is only via an intense 3-day prayer and fasting with tons of serious planning and quiet time, and nothing else. I do not discount these methods, in fact, they are necessary. However, these are not the only methods God uses to reveal His calling to His kids. Our God-endowed personality, interests, skills, experiences, and present circumstances are all used by God to shape us into the kind of people He wants us to be. Sometimes, He even uses annoying and unexpected circumstances (like getting lost) to reveal His will to us, like what happened to me one Tuesday night, a simple yet unforgettable experience indeed.

January 17, 2017

I planned on going home on time at 5:30 but ended up leaving the office at 6:30 as I worked on a report due two days later. I left the office with my co-worker, Ginna, and our media director Ascon.

While Ginna and I walked together to our respective destinations, I felt something drop from my lunchbox so I looked behind and saw my colds medicine on the ground! Apparently I was carrying my lunchbox upside down so the contents from the zipper-less pocket fell off. I picked it up immediately and resumed walking; however three seconds later, I realized that my TAP card (aka my ticket to the bus and train), which was also inside that pocket, was no longer there! I told Ginna I had to walk back to find it (by this time my heart was racing), so I ran back a few feet and lo and behold, my TAP card was on the ground! “This has about $100 worth of rides!” I exclaimed to Ginna. After we crossed the road, we parted ways and I headed to the train station.

The escalator at Metro Wilshire/Vermont station in LA is a long one so I usually hurry down the steps to catch the coming train. However,  the guy in front of me who was carrying three gigantic bags took up the entire passageway of the escalator, so I couldn’t pass. I heard the train coming but I chose to stay put because I couldn’t walk past the guy, and I was not in a rush to go home anyway. By the time I reached the tracks, the train already left and had to wait four more minutes for the next one.

As I stood on the tracks, I noticed a lady in her late twenties with a wheeled luggage and a handbag standing beside me. After a minute or so, she came up to me, pointed to the TV monitor and asked, “Does that ‘4’ mean that the next train will arrive in 4 minutes? And ‘9’ 9 minutes?”

“Yes it does. So 4 minutes for the red line and 9 minutes for the purple line. Where are you headed?” She walked back to where the map was and pointed at the different train lines. “I was supposed to get down at 7th Street Metro Center but stopped here, so I just have to take this train and get off after 2 stops, right?”

“Yeah. You can take any train that passes here, whether the red or purple one. Where are you from?”

She replied, “San Francisco. That’s why I’m so lost. I’m trying to get to Anaheim,” pointing at Anaheim St., a station close to downtown Long Beach. I got confused and wanted to make sure of her destination so I asked again: “So you want to go to Anaheim? In Orange County?”

“Yeah that’s right!”

“Anaheim St. is just a name of a station; it’s not the same as Anaheim. Anaheim is somewhere here–” I pointed to the eastern part of LA near Norwalk where the green line train went (see photo below). “Anaheim St. is far from Anaheim!”

Anaheim is further east from Norwalk (see green line). Anaheim St. is a station near downtown Long Beach (blue line, south bound)

She got shocked and grew anxious, I could tell, so I told her where she should go. “The best way for you to get to Anaheim is to take this train–the one headed our way–get down at the last stop which is Union Station, and take another train called the Metrolink. Unfortunately you already missed the last train because it’s already 6:50, and that’s the last trip of the Metrolink to OC tonight.”

“Oh my god. So is there any other way to get to OC?”

“You can take an Uber from here. Or you can go to Norwalk and take an Uber from there because Norwalk is closer to Anaheim. In that case, you’d still take this train and another one, the blue line train.” At this point I was wavering if I should tell her that I was going to Norwalk, but as I heard our train approaching, I surrendered my trust issues and told her: “You know what? I’m headed to Norwalk, too, so you can just go with me.”

“Okay that’s great I’ll just follow you then! Oh my god!”

We boarded the train and I could tell that she still felt agitated. I mean, who wouldn’t? Getting lost in unfamiliar territory (especially in a crazy city like LA) is no fun. I’ve been there and it’s annoying. Thankfully, she trusted me enough to follow my lead. After two stops, we dismounted the train and took another one that would connect us to our third train. Thankfully the trains arrived shortly so our entire travel time was under an hour.

While we sat inside the second train, I learned that her name was Natalie and that she was on vacation to meet with her friends here in Anaheim, and from there drive to Vegas. “I need to take a break from school!” she told me. I also shared with her how I just got out of work, an advertising agency, and that this was my usual route home, so she was in good hands. We talked some more–she showed me photos of her family and I showed one of mine, however due to my trust issues, I failed to ask her number or even her Snapchat/Instagram username. I wish I did. Anyway, back to the story.

During the commute, Natalie coordinated with her friend so he could fetch her from the Norwalk station. “My friend lives only 15 minutes away from Norwalk, so he’d pick me up.” When we arrived at Norwalk, I told her that my ride was there so I had to leave her. We hugged and said our goodbyes.

When I got inside our car, I told my dad the whole story and how time and time again, even back in Manila, I had several encounters of strangers asking me for directions even if I’m not as adept as he was. I don’t consider myself an expert on directions unless I have memorized the place. I asked my dad why this could be and he told me I looked trustworthy (thanks dad). As I pondered on this and my past experiences,  I wondered what place they have in my life. Are they accidental? What is God trying to tell me?

Miss Teacher

That’s when it hit me. In every area of my life where I’m good at or at least knowledgeable, I find joy in teaching others the things I have learned.  I like finding connections in things and seeing how they could relate to each other, and possibly how that could make people’s lives better. At the heart of every passionate deed is the desire to teach, the vision to see people know, grow, and soar.  Does that sound far-fetched? Not when you have a history of making math workbooks with sheets of stapled scratch paper and letting your “students” (aka dolls) “answer them.” Not when you’ve been volunteering for Sunday School for over five years. Certainly not when you’re notorious for being the family grammar Nazi and the tutor to two younger brothers.

Going back to my initial question: what am I called to do and how do I discover it? Do I have it all answered? Certainly not! However, I do know the backbone of my calling: it has something to do with teaching. This very blog is one manifestation of it! As a teacher, I’m not ending this without throwing the question back to you. What are you called to do and how do you discover it? God’s will is knowable–it’s not reserved for monks in the mountains or pastors on the pulpit. God’s will may not be completely revealed, but He shows us what we need to know at the moment. Where do we start? The Apostle Paul gives us insight:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 (emphasis mine)

Two things: do not be conformed (don’t take the world’s shape), instead, allow God’s truth to mold your mind. Start by knowing God–His character, His plan for the world, His heart–as the Holy Spirit through His Word reveals to you. Then as you grow in Him, He will change your desires. He will guide your mind. He will “align your stars” so to speak, so that you will live in the center of His will. Word of caution: this path to blessing is not problem-free. In fact the greatest trials happen to the greatest Christians; but you’ll never know the awesome life that you missed until you take the step of faith.

Finally, through it all, trust the process and the process-Maker. I used to think (and sometimes still do) that a single failure meant that I was not walking in God’s will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As I look back at that fateful Tuesday night, I realized how delays–me leaving the office late, my medicine and TAP card dropping, the guy blocking the path of the escalator so I’d miss the first train–all led me to meet the lost Natalie and help find her way home. That’s exactly what Jesus did for me. I once was lost, but He found me. Sometimes I still feel lost, but His truth says otherwise: “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) If you feel lost in your life’s direction, turn to Jesus. Not only does He hold the promise to an exciting and adventurous life, He will guide you all the way. If you are already walking with Him and get or feel lost, fret not. Get back up, trust Him again (no matter how hard it gets, He loves you), and do what He tells you to do. He delights in guiding His children (Psalm 32:8). He knows the way, so let Him lead the way. He is the way.

PS: I’m praying I find Natalie again so we can get in touch. Natalie, I hope you read this! #findingNatalie (lol) 

I Have Kwento: Train Memoirs

Hey everyone!!! 🙂 🙂

As I always say after a loooooooong absence, so I say again: I’M SO GLAD TO BE BACK!! 🙂

Right now I’m on Christmas break, which means I have more time (and no more excuse) to update GJ (Gracing Jenny haha) and share you some of my love. 😀 Today, I want to start with a story in Tagalog (sorry to my non-Tagalog speaking readers). Last Monday as I was cleaning my room (another long overdue task), I chanced upon my old journals. I opened one of them that dated 2 years ago, and I found this story written 2 years ago, March 16. I think this is inspired by true events, since the setting and possibility of this ever occurring can actually happen in my life. : I won’t say which of the events are “inspired” though. 😀 It’s supposed to be funny, so sana matawa kayo. (Pag hindi, edi sige fine, ako nalang tatawa mag-isa. HAHA #sadlife)


7:00 A.M, Biyernes

“Mahal kita. As in. No joke.”

“Oo nga, naniniwala na ‘ko.”

Ang totoo niyan, matagal ko nang pinaniwalaan ang mga sinabi niya. Bago pa maging kami, nung taga-abot at taga-ayos lang ako ng lapel o mikropono niya sa mga dula namin sa aming pamantasan. Ito ang araw na pinakahihintay ko. Totoo nga ba ang lahat ng ito? Tunay nga ba na makapipiling ko na palagi ang aking giliw–ang marikit na Ingrid? Isa itong…

When I see your face…there’s not a thing that I would change….’cause you’re–

Ano ba Bruno Mars?! Kanina ka pa ume-epal eh. Pindot ako ng pindot, este, slide ako ng slide–ng iPhone ko para tumahimik ang alarm, sige pa rin sa pagkanta. Bakit, anong oras na ba?

Anak ng tokwa, alas siyete na!!! Teka, anong araw ba ngayon???

BIYERNES!!!!! SYETT!!! Alas siyete y medya nga pala klase ko ngayon! May quiz pa naman kami sa Math. Putek, si Ms. Tampil pa naman prof ko dun!

Syempre dali-dali akong tumalon, nakipagkarera sa oras at tumakbo papa-alis ng bahay. Nakakainis dahil hindi ako nakakain ng almusal, masarap pa naman din. Ininit ni Day (short for Inday) yung lechon kawali, salmon, at fried rice na inuwi nina Daddy at Mommy nung kinagabihan mula sa buffet. 😦

7:17 AM

Paglabas ko ng bahay, nanalangin ako sa Diyos na paluwagin ang kalsada at ang mga jeep sa Guadalupe. Saktong pagkarating ko sa sakayan ng jeep, may nakaabang na sa aking jeep at isa nalang ang kasya! (rush hour na kasi) Pinasalamatan ko si Papa God.

Bigla kong naalala ang walang humpay kong pagmumura kanina nang ako’y gumising. Ang sama ko nga naman! Ako na nga ‘tong pinagkalooban ng pagsanggalang mula sa kapahamakan sa aking pagtulog, tapos pagmumura pa ang iginanti ko sa Diyos–Diyos pa sa lahat ng nilalang! “Panginoon, sorry po. Hindi ko po sinasadya. Malaki na po ang kasalanan ko sa Inyo ngayong umaga, pero kung maaari lang po, paluwagin Niyo po ang MRT mamaya pagdating ko para agad po akong makasakay. Salamat po, Lord.”

Matapos manalanggin, inabot ko ang bayad ko sa aking katabi at nakisuyong ipaabot sa drayber. Pagbalik sa akin ng sukli–grabe, nagmahal na; dalawang piso nalang ang bumalik sa akin–kaagad kong kinuha ang abaniko ko mula sa backpack. Isa kasi akong pawising nilalang. Ewan ko ba kung bakit, di naman ako mataba. Siguro dahil palainom ako ng tubig, mas maraming pawis ang lumalabas sa mga parte ng katawan ko–noo, braso, likod, dibdib, singit, kili-kili….

Kili-kili. Teka. Nag-lagay ba ako ng ano….Pa-simple kong kinapa ang t-shirt ko sa bandang kili-kili, ayun pala, naunahan na ako ng katabi ko sa pagtuklas ng nakamamatay kong sikreto. Buti nalang pumara na siya at ang anim pang pasahero, kaya nung bumaba sila, lumipat ako sa dulo ng jeep (sa may labasan) at nilakasan ang aking pagpaypay.

Matapos ang ilang segundo, nagpatuloy sa pagbibiyahe ang jeep. May iba pa kayang naka-amoy? Ang eng-eng ko talaga!! Bakit sa lahat pa ng makakalimutan kong gawin, yun pang mag-deodorant? Ang masama pa dun, kalaban ko pa ang panahon dahil panahon na ng tag-init. Kasalanan ko bang may klase ako ng Abril? Hindi ito gaanong makatarungan, pero sa paningin (at pang-amoy) ng ibang tao (lalo na yung lalaki kanina) na mas hindi makatarungan ang anghit ko (buti nalang puti ang t-shirt ko kaya wala akong marka ng jabar).

7:40 A.M.

“Hay nako, late na talaga ako. Hindi ko na maaabutan ang quiz,” wika ko habang naglalakad papunta sa MRT Guadalupe station.  Pero ang totoo niyan, mas kinakabahan pa ako sa aking amoy lalo na sa harap ako ng klase uupo mamaya! Masyado kasing mahal ni Ginang Tampil ang kanyang mga mag-aaral kaya pinapaupo niya ang mga latecomers sa harapan kung saan sila’y nakararanas ng ikalawang pagligo. As in. Nakakalimang tabo siya ng laway. Daig pa yung talsik ng mga dolphins sa Ocean Park. Kulang nalang magdala ng sabon at shampoo kaming mga estudyante sa harapan. Nakakasampung tabo siya kapag maraming ‘F’ at ‘P’ ang mga salita at pangungusap niya; napagpapalit niya kasi ang mga ito. (“Okey wat’s the answer? Correct! Pour foint pive”)

Bahala na, sige na lang. buti nalang dala ko ang aking abaniko pangtakip.

Pagsakay ko sa escalator, tumatagak ako sa pawis–at amoy. Ako mismo nadidighay sa sarili kong amoy. Papasok pa ba ako? Parang nakakahiya na–teka, nakakahiya talaga! Kahit na hindi ko na pasukin ang Math class, hindi naman akong maaaring umabsent sa ibang subject. Ayyy….alam ko na!! Buti nalang sinunod ko ang aking Mommy nang sabihan niya akong mag-iwan ng ekstrang t-shirt, shampoo, sabon, TOWEL, at DEODORANT sa locker!!! Maliligo nalang muna ako. Pero pano yung…brief???

Na-excite akong makarating sa pamantasan pero may isa pa akong hamon na dapat harapin: ang pagsakay sa siksikang tren na may anghit.

Habang nakapila ako sa security check, bumilis ang tibok ng aking puso. Puno na ang tren kaya sardinas time na naman. Okay lang sana yun kung mabango at tuyo pa ako. (may higit-kumulang isang paang layo sa pagitan namin ng babaeng nakapila sa likod ko sa linya dahil sa aking weapon of mass destruction)

Weapon. Sandata. Oo nga noh!! Isang henyong kaisipan ang pumasok sa aking kaisipan. Binuksan ko ang zipper ng aking bag at hinayaang tusukin ng guard, na nagtakip ng kaniyang ilong. Agad akong pumasok ng stasyon at hinabol ang paparating na tren.

“Gagawin ko na ba ‘to?” Paulit-ulit kong tinatanong ang aking sarili…at ang Diyos. Baka iton na yung sagot sa panalangin ko kanina. Di hamak na luluwag ang daan ko kapag ginawa ko ‘yon! 🙂 Nagpasiya ako: gagawin ko na ang aking mahusay na plano.


Pagbukas ng mga pintuan ng tren, sabay kong inangat ang aking mga braso’t kamay at nagsabi ng “excuse me.” Ang mga sumunod na pangyayari ay aking inasahan ngunit para sa akin ay isang milagro parang ng nangyari kay Moises nang hiwain niya ang Pulang Dagat.

Nahati ang mga papasok na pasahero sa kanan at kaliwa hanbang nakatakip sa kanilang mga ilong at bibig–at siyaka ako pumasok papaloob ng tren. Bagama’t marami nang kalalakihang ang nagsasabing, “Anghit naman niyan grabe!”, wala silang magagawa kung hindi tiisin ang aking handog na regalo at sandata. 😉

Pagbaba ko sa Shaw Boulevard, taas-noo akong lumabas ng tren. Nakakatakot lumingon dahil sa mga mala-kontrabidang titig ng mga tao (lalo na nung may narinig akong naghihinalo sa likod ko na babae–galit na galit ang jologs niyang nobyo). Ang hindi alam ng feeling Andrew E, may bakas ng jabar nag t-shirt niya.

12:30 PM

Naging maganda ang takbo nang araw ko matapos kong pinasabog an mabagsik kong dinamito. Nalaman ko sa aking mga kaklase na nagpa-free cut si Ms. Tampil. At eto pa: pagkatapos kong maligo, magdeodorant (naka sampung pahid ata ako sa bawat kili-kili) at kumain ng taho, nagtungo ako sa photocopying area. Hulaan mo kung sinong nandun.

Si Ingrid. Ang aking giliw!

Pagdating ko, napansin niya ako kaagad. Sabay ngiti. Sabay bati. (at nasabi ko ba na kami lang dalawa yung tao sa loob ng photocopying area? Di ko na sinama si Manong Xerox dahil walang pake yun sa mga estudyante)

“Hi Evan! Ba’t wala ka nung math?”

“Hi Ingrid! Math? Diba free cut?”

“Ah oo. I mean, before the class started. Hinanap kita, wala ka eh.”

Hinanap niya ako?!?! Kung pwede lang sumayaw! Pero hindi, nagtimpi ako at kalmadong sumagot, “Traffic kasi sa MRT.” At dahil makapal ang mukha ko dahil nag-deodorant na ako, hinabol ko ang tanong: “Ba’t mo ako…hinanap?”

“Napaniginipan kasi kit!”

“Ah…ah….ta-….talaga?” TALAGA?! AKO DIN!!

“Oo, sobrang natuwa nga ako eh. Jinajabar ka saw sa isang kwarto tapos awyaw ma-alis kahit na nakailang ligo ka na. Hahaha! Sorry ah, pero sobrang natawa lang talaga ako.”

Gusto ko rin sana tumawa, kaso pilit yung lumabas. Hindi nalang ako nagpahalata, total si Ingrid ‘to!! Okay na ‘to kaysa yung mga paisa-isang tanong sa Math.

“Haha, talaga ah? Ako din, napaniginipan ka–”

When I see your face…there’s not a thing that I would change….’cause you’re amazing–

Syyeee…ano ba yan!! Bruno Mars! Panira ka ng moment!! Bakit nag-alarm phone ko?? Di ko naman sinet….

“–Just the way you are! I like that song, too!”

Nagtagpo ang mga mata namin ni Ingrid ng mga two seconds at sa pakiramdam ko, pati ang aming mga puso. Agad kong pinasalamatan si Bruno Mars sa aking loob hangga’t sinabi ni Ingrid–

“Favorite song ko yan lalo na nung hinarana ako ng boyfriend ko nung isang gabi. Sobrang kilig!”

Bo…boy…boyfriend? Akala ko single siya?!

“May…bo…boyfriend ka na? Sino? Kailan?”

“Last week lang! Si Santi Delias. Shucks Evan, sorry to cut this conversation short, ah. Kailangan ko nang mauna. I’ll meet Santi in McDo. See you around!”

At sa isang iglap, naglaho ang aking mga magagandang pangarap. Kung pwede lang gamitin ang weapon of mass destruction ko kay Santi.  May panibago nanaman akong hamon. 🙂

Photo source: Inquirer News via Google Images 

Ms. Right

On our way home tonight, my brothers and I were having a conversation. James, our youngest, out of the blue, told us he hasn’t tasted or seen unleavened bread, and then he asked me why it was so flat.

“Well because it doesn’t have yeast, so it’s flat. It doesn’t rise like normal bread.”

Hearing this, my other brother, Josh, interjected with a “fun fact” on unleavened bread:

Sabi ni Sir RC mas makunat pa ang unleavened bread sa SkyFlakes.” (“Sir RC told us that unleavened bread is chewier than SkyFlakes.”)

Wait, what? “SkyFlakes is not chewy at all! It’s crispy!” I told this rather defensively to my brother, as if I was debating which superhero is better, Captain America or Iron Man, to their die-hard fans.

But Joshua insisted. “No, it’s makunat daw. He said.”

But no! He was wrong, and I was right. I defended my position again, this time, with more passion in my voice: “Ano kang makunat?! Ang lutong kaya ng SkyFlakes! Hindi siya makunat! Pag hinati mo ang dali-daling baliin, ano ka ba–-”


Mom. She cut off my argumentative monologue and aired hers. “Why are you so defensive? Huh? Why do you speak like that?”

“No, I’m not.” (Yes, I was. And  I knew it.)

“Why do you talk like that? You know what, you’re a bully. You sound like a know-it-all, like Ms. Righteous. You don’t always have to prove you’re right!”

That shut me up alright.

My ego was attacked head on, but my heart responded in a rather positive way. Sort of.  I didn’t react or defend myself again (because that would have been really stupid). When I looked at James he smiled at me and stuck out his tongue, and I also returned the favor by smiling and sticking out my tongue as if to surrender my right to be right. And for the rest of the ride (which was only a few minutes away after that “heated” argument), I kept all my rights to myself.

Being the perfectionist that I am, I always want things right, as much as possible. In a world where everything that’s right goes wrong, the way I’m thinking is a tad fantastic. Lately, God has been teaching me that my notion of being right all the time is not the same as Him being right all the time. Mine may be tainted with ill intentions or lead to negative consequences (as proven by my unleavened bread experience); God’s righteousness is always based on good intentions and always results in positive consequences. Christianity is not all about getting things right, about following rules to “avoid God’s wrath.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Christians should be loose and not totally do what’s right; I’m saying we shouldn’t be legalistic. I’m saying that as human beings, we have to deal with the reality that everything we do, say, and think can be wrong because imperfection is in our nature. I realized there are only two things you can be sure about the human race: mistakes and death.

Anyway, back to being right. When I got home and thought about my being Ms. Right, I thought about parts of my life that I always want to be right. The first thing that came into my head was Mr. Right, also known as GB (God’s Best), “the one,” soulmate or whatever way you want to call it. Hollywood has philosophized a lot of times on the subject of finding Mr. Right–how he seems to have all or almost all the characteristics you’ve been looking for in a husband, how he’s got you checking one item after another on your checklist. In church and retreats I’ve attended that talked about waiting and preparing for your lifetime partner, I’ve heard speakers suggest that we make a checklist on the qualities that we look for in our future husband. This suggestion fit my “right theology.” So I made my list. (But that’s another story of its own) Tonight, I rethought about that list and about Mr. Right, especially after what our pastor said earlier this evening in the worship service:

“What many people don’t realize is that marriage is a lifetime commitment to a defective individual.”

Let’s face it: there really is no Mr. Right or Ms. Right. I realized that when dealing with the human race, mistakes are more common and more predictable than successes. I also realized that looking for a suitable helpmate (in the future, for me) involves more than just looking for someone with desirable qualities; it is also figuring out what specific flaws and “defects” a person has that you can deal with…for the rest of your life. Waiting for people to change is futile. As has been said many times in different ways in so many movies, books, and whatnot on love: “You love a person for who they are, not for what they will become.”

So….what does that have to do with me being Ms. Right? A lot. Tonight, I had a mini-eureka moment. The SkyFlakes argument triggered that. If it weren’t for the question on the unleavened bread, my brother’s interjection, and my sudden outburst, I wouldn’t have realized how much time I’ve wasted displacing my anger and right to be right on things that shouldn’t be fought over, more so, debated on. I don’t always have to prove I’m right. Heck, I’ve never been consistently right! I’ve flunked almost everything, even the things I’ve been doing for so long–school, diet, sleep (by sleeping late…just like tonight), blog entries (I’ve revised this entry about three times), relationships (i.e., friendships), and all my other responsibilities. The Bible already said it: “There is no righteous, no not one.” Me proving myself to be right when I’m not supposed to just proves how wrong I am! The real righteous and good people do not have to prove themselves, just as a cheetah does not need to prove himself to a puppy that he can outrun him. Ms. Right sometimes needs to learn to take a backseat, let things “go wrong,” and laugh. Chill. Keep calm. As for looking for Mr. Right, she should be looking both at his sweet and sour parts, and see if she can deal with both.

Before she even searches for her Mr. Right, Ms. Right must first learn to accept her sweet parts and sour parts, and the fact that she doesn’t always have to be right. She doesn’t always have to win an argument. Or else, she would be no different than a bully.

Ms. Right and her minions a few months back
Ms. Right and her minions a few months back

On Delay & Learning It The Hard Way

If there’s one lesson I learned the hard way this week, it is this:

Do not delay doing the things that you can finish today.

What if paramedics stopped over in a convenience store to grab something to eat instead of heading straight to a car collision scene? What if a weather forecasting agency decided to announce a strong, impending typhoon a day before it wiped out a city? What if Jesus arrived one year late because He wanted more time to prepare for His hard life on earth? Delay does not travel alone. It carries with him uneventful or even downright painful consequences for the one who bears him and those who have been robbed of time opportunity because of him.

When you attach delay with obedience, it sounds even more awful because it equals a grave and serious sin. Delayed obedience is disobedience, my parents always tell me. I used to ask myself, “Why is this so? I mean, it’s not that I’m not going to do what I’ve been told to do.” As I grew older, I learned that obedience consists not only in doing what you have been told to do, but in doing what you have been told to do at the prescribed and desired time by the commander.

Sadly, even this post is a product of delay. Not that I really owe anyone an apology for not posting for 2 weeks since this is my blog, but I did not listen to my gut feeling when it told me to post an entry. A woman’s gut feeling is right 99% of the time (based on experience), but because I mishandled precious time, I “disobeyed” myself.

Another product of delay (that I am still working on and paying the price for) is a video for a special someone. Not a romantic special someone, but a blood-related special someone. Today I was having thoughts if I should even continue with the video, but then again, I thought, better late than never.

I may suffer from acute tardiness (delay’s alter ego), but I consider myself utterly blessed because I belong to a God Who does not delay. A God Whose timing is impeccable; He is neither early nor late, but arrives on the scene at the exact hour, minute, second, and nanosecond that He planned. He does not schedule His day or race against time, rather, time submits to His plans. He did not put me on hold when I cried out to Him for help. He did not think twice in sending His only begotten Son to earth when it was time for Him to go.

If my Father does not delay, why should I? I must learn to be a good steward of time–His time. And I will. I don’t promise perfection, but I do promise diligence & resistance to complacency. There are activities that can still work out even if they are delayed. You can still shed off excess weight by proper diet and exercise today even if you failed to do them in years past. Others, however, don’t share the same privilege.

Would a doctor still be needed if he is one minute short of meeting the victim–alive?

“You may delay, but time will not.”- Benjamin Franklin

PS: I want one of these! Serves as a reminder for procrastinating folks like me.

Heart Struggles

Hello readers and fellow bloggers!

I apologize for a one week delay in posting, especially the Part 2 of my sembreak (which ended last Tuesday). I apologize, again, because I shall postpone that short but meaningful post for tomorrow and update you on what’s happening, or should I say, wrestling, in my life right now.

Heart struggles.

Big endings start with small beginnings. So does sin and its painful consequences. Being born and raised in a Christian home, I know the famous, “great and grave” sins of this world that I should (and did) avoid: murder (except for ants; it’s self-defense, they bit me first), idolatry (in terms of really worshiping physical idols), and the like. However, as much as I’m almost immune from committing the worst of iniquities, I am not exempt from the “smaller” or as Jerry Bridges coined and titled his book, “respectable sins.” I struggle with self-control, Godly discipline, obedience, and humility just as any Christian regardless of seniority. Lately, the consequences of my little sins over the past year culminated, and I knew I needed to change. Stat.

Just like a a victim of a vehicular accident who badly injured his left leg, had it amputated, and after weeks of treatment and extreme care in the hospital, went back home, I just underwent a major heart surgery. I’m okay in a sense that  the vessels that have been blocked by layers of sin have been removed by my Jehovah-Raphah (Healer), but I still have to recover and get used to a new and pure heart which is really difficult to keep pure many times. By my God-given nature and temperament, I keep things to myself most of the time. However, I feel the need to share what I am going through right now because, as I said, I need to get used to my new heart. I need help. Ever heard of a drug addict who went to rehab all by himself? People need people.

I wouldn’t go into all the details of my crazy, unpredictable heart, but I will share with you two struggles that I have a difficult time overcoming. First is servitude. Jesus said that if anyone wishes to be His disciple, that person must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow the Lord and Savior. I am serving God in many ways as of the present, but I am not always serving Him. When I’m at home or alone, I usually serve Jenny by gratifying her desires according to her time and her understanding. Serving my worst enemy cost me my spot on the dean’s list again the previous semester. It also produced in me unwanted stomach flab, a slightly calloused heart, and an untidy thought life. I used to be so excited when serving my parents and even strangers, but as I developed a habit of focusing on what I wanted, my zeal for serving slowly diminished. I still served, but only when the service was convenient for me. Even massaging my beloved parents became a burden to me because I “wanted to sleep” when in fact, I wanted to scroll more pages on Tumblr.

Secondly, I am struggling with self-control. Food, time management, simple pleasures, you name it. At first, I justified my lack of control in eating with the freedom I have in Christ to eat whatever I want because the dietary laws are abolished. Indeed they are abolished, but that does not make fish sans scales any healthier than they were during Moses’s time. Because my desire for Jesus varied in intensity, I often opted to surf in Facebook than in my NKJV Bible. As  a result, bad words sometimes come into mind when I get angry instead of “be angry and do not sin” and “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”

As much as I hate to admit it, I fing myself in a cycle of sin: commit to change, decide to do the same sin, confess, commit again, do wrong again, confess, and so on. At times I would succeed for a certain number of days, but after a week or two, I go back to my old ways. Until God unveiled my eyes and I saw how much I was hurting Him, I would have plunged downward to my demise. But God was not letting me go.

See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.

-Isaiah 49:16

No sin is too deep to make God love me less. Nothing. Nada. If an earthly mother can forgive a prodigal and mischievous child of hers, how much more the Heavenly Father! 🙂 He gives me hope and a chance to continue doing good and play the role as His servant. Unworthy yet loved, broken and yet complete.

God repeatedly whispers truth to my ear because His truth will lead me in His direction. To change for the best, for life, we need to imbibe God’s truths in our hearts and minds to keep us from straying again to falsehood, where the devil rules.

“The Lord God in your midst,

The Mighty One will save.

He will rejoice over you with gladness;

He will quiet you in His love;

He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zechariah 3:17)

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast on You,

Because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

“…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

I am so, so, utterly grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for picking me up, renewing me in His love, and strengthening me so that I may experience Him again. Saying goodbye to the pity parties and the pride, I look forward to an exciting and adventurous life with Jesus Christ. One of the lies the enemy whispered to me is that the Christian life is boring. Lately, I’m beginning to see and testify that it isn’t. True, it is difficult, but it’s never boring. Do you know what’s really boring? Doing the same things over and over again (such as partying and smoking) thinking it’s fun but in reality it will destroy you and in the end, you won’t profit anything. The struggle is worth the struggle because it strengthens character and builds up hope–hope that will surely be actualized and fulfilled one day.

I may be weak, but He Who fights for me is strong. If ever you’re struggling in a similar situation as mine or any struggle for that matter, hold on. Don’t lose hope. No matter how young or old you are, as long as you’re alive, there’s always hope. Jesus always extends His hand. Take it! Grasp it tightly till it hurts because guess what? Your grip does not hurt Him at all. In fact, He will take you to where He is, but in so doing, you will struggle. But that’s okay. Wait on the Lord, He shall renew your strength. (Isaiah 40:31)

Wait, I say, on the Lord. 😀

PS: Let’s pray for each other! God’s kids are meant to help each other. Email me at talamjenny@gmail.com for prayer requests and other insights. I also need your help  (but please, no philosophical advice, that’s man-made, it’s not foolproof) so if you can share with me how you overcame your heart struggles, email me too! 😀